By Kris . September 10, 2010 . 4:39pm
At PAX Prime, Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games announced not only Bit.Trip FATE, but also that Gaijin was beginning to step into the world of game publishing. I had a chance to sit down with Alex shortly after the announcement, and he showed me their first published WiiWare title: lilt line.
An upgraded port of the critically acclaimed (but little known) iPhone game by differentcloth, lilt line (lowercase intentional) is a difficult game to explain. You play as a line constantly racing forward through a jagged path, controlled by tilting the Wii remote held sideways a la Bit.Trip Beat. As you speed through this path, avoiding walls and jagged edges, columns of light appear in your way. When you travel through them, pressing any button will play the beat, create a little light show, and continue the music at regular volume.
Visually, the game is incredibly minimalist. Lilt line‘s simple geometric visuals coupled with its single-color backgrounds make it appear as though it was ripped out of the eighties. However, the spectacular VJ-esque beat confirmations, rollercoaster-like courses, and changing colors give it a flavor all of its own.
The scoring system is unique as well. Instead of gaining points, you begin with the full number of points in a stage and lose 500 each time you hit a wall, and a couple thousand whenever you miss a beat. Hit zero points, and you’ve failed the stage.
In text it might not sound like a game that you’d want to rush out and buy (that would be silly anyway, it’s a WiiWare game, no need to leave the house for it!), but the game is enhanced by an absolutely incredible soundtrack. The music is all by the dubstep band 16Bit. If, like me, you hardly know what dubstep is, rest assured that the soundtrack is incredible.
It may be improper to say that the music adds to lilt line so much as it defines it. Each level is in tune with the beats of the song. Rather than DJ Hero or the like, this doesn’t feel like it’s as much about performing music as it is reacting to the music. You synchronize with the music, and simply supply a response to the track’s stimulus. It’s a very interesting experience, but it fits the rhythm-heavy style of music very well.
To be honest, I feel that I’m doing the game a bit of a disservice by simply writing about it. It seems like all of Gaijin’s products have to be played to be understood. Even with the screens above, it’s hard to get a feel of what the game is really like. There’s no other rhythm game quite like lilt line. All I can do is recommend that you play the game to find out for yourself. It should be out in a couple of months, but here’s a trailer to give you a basic overview of the game.
The game will be 15 stages long, priced around 500-600 points ($5-6), and should be out on WiiWare in the fall.